It was the summer of 2017, and the three of us –– Rachel Sucher, Claire Lee, and Sarah Feng –– were classmates in an online writing studio. A studio-wide group chat had been created, where mentors and students would ask for general advice on their writing, send funny quips about the writing process, and share playlists to write to. It was from a small offshoot of that chat where the three of us decided to create a literary arts magazine, to be published online and to house voices that we found honest, innovative, daring, and true to experiences not often highlighted in traditional media.
Excited with our new idea, we created an email, a free website, and a Facebook page, bringing several friends onto staff and asking many more to submit. In late August, a website saw the light of the day, branded with what is now the COUNTERCLOCK clock. Submissions were open! it read. And short stories, poetry, paintings, and photography started to trickle into our inbox from writers and artists all around the world, of all ages, from PhD graduates to authors to college professors. In November, we published our first issue, featuring Vakseen’s artwork on the cover and the words of Woody Woodger, Leah Chase, Grace Coberly, and others within –– many of whom later joined our team as staff readers for the journal or mentors for the Collective.
Since our first issue, COUNTERCLOCK has grown to become more than just a literary arts magazine. We also host an interdisciplinary arts fellowship, the COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective, and provide a paid Feedback Corner service. We write advance reviews on our blog and publish columns on poetic and cultural commentary. Our family is a little larger than the hundreds of readers we once had; we’re home to nearly 50 staff members and fellowship mentors, 100 contributors, and 120,000 readers worldwide since 2017.
We currently nominate for the major anthology awards, and we have been recognized by the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology. Contributors and team members have been honored or published by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Times, the Poetry Society of the United Kingdom, Best New Poets, Best of the Net, the Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, the National Student Poets Program, and the National YoungArts Foundation, among other organizations.
Thank you so much for visiting us today!
We hope COUNTERCLOCK treats you well, and that you experience the same lovely type of shiver we did when reading through these pieces.
– Sarah Feng
October 16, 2019
Editor-in-Chief of COUNTERCLOCK Journal, Program Director of the Arts Collective
COUNTERCLOCK is a not-for-profit arts organization committed to exploring the diversity, complexity, and resilience of the human experience through the creative and interdisciplinary arts. Our mission is, and always has been, to heal, destigmatize, and empower through the arts, both literary and visual; to explore the diversity, complexity, and resilience of the human experience.
We hope to give dimension to voices that are commonly oversimplified and oppressed; we wish to highlight the beauty in what clings to the soft underbelly of a narrative polished for the mainstream media. We love the quotidian, and we love to question it.
We’d like to be taught something we don’t know; we’re attracted to experimentation, innovation, and beauty. We think there’s a vein of white light, a little bit of electricity, a red pulse in every field of the arts. We only ask that you be as honest as you can in your writing or art, whichever it is, and show us your story.
COUNTERCLOCK is the parent organization of COUNTERCLOCK Journal, created in 2017 by Rachel Sucher, Claire Lee, and Sarah Feng; and the COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective, an interdisciplinary arts fellowship created in 2019 by Sarah Feng.